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Modern life is designed around three meals a day. We are told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we're given lunch breaks at work , then our social and family lives is centred around evening meals.
Before we decide when we should eat, we should also consider when we shouldn't eat.
Our bodies are more in line with intermittent fasting. Giving our bodies at least 12 hours a day without food allows our digestive system to rest.
Having an early dinner and increasing the time of your fasting window can have positive effects on your body, such as better glycaemic control.
Some experts argue one meal a day is the best. Throughout history, we consumed one meal a day. But others disagree. Since one meal can increase the level of glucose in our blood when we're not eating, over a long period, it can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Instead, two to three meals a day is best, with a long fasting window overnight, and consuming most calories earlier in the day.
Hunger is often a psychological sensation. You might be conditioned to eat breakfast in the morning. This is not necessary. Data shows if you skip breakfast, you will eat fewer calories overall that day.
Eating too early in the morning should be avoided. It doesn't give you sufficient time to fast. Eating too soon after waking up also works against your circadian rhythm, which dictates how the body will process food throughout the day.
Melatonin in the night helps us sleep, but it also pauses the creation of insulin, which stores glucose in the body. So if you eat when your melatonin is high, you get very high glucose levels. Over long periods, high glucose levels can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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